August 14-20, 2023

The Welfare and Behaviour of Wild Animals

Bielefeld, Germany

Animal welfare science highlights the relevance of understanding animals' own perspectives for reliably interpreting animal behaviours. Although welfare science has traditionally focused on farmed or captive animals, conservationists and wildlife managers are increasingly recognizing the importance of addressing welfare needs of animals in the wild. Integrating welfare sciences with the study of animal behaviour in wild contexts can be extremely valuable for advancing our collective understanding. 

In this symposium, we invite participants to explore concepts such as, how individual behaviour is shaped by interactions with both the physical and social environments; how collective experiences determine both positive (e.g. cooperation, mutualism) and negative experiences (e.g. predation, depredation) among individuals and species; and how the resultant ecological and cultural processes feedback onto the behaviour of individuals, all of which are informed by an understanding of animal welfare.

Wild animal welfare science is an emerging discipline that brings together conservation, wildlife management, animal welfare science, ecology, behaviour, neuroscience, sentience, philosophy, and related disciplines to better understand and improve the lives of animals in the wild. Our symposium will bring together speakers and scholars from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and career stages to explore the intersection between welfare and behaviour.


Organized by Vittoria Elliott, Co-organized by Melissa Bateson